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Why you should check out Anderson Ales this summer

A photo of Keegan Padyk and Bridget Atkinson Fee posing with Anderson Ales beer cans
Image Credit: Ben Harrietha

London has many local breweries to choose from all across town, each with their own special beers, events, and atmosphere. We’ll be highlighting one specific brewery right in between both Western and Fanshawe, so it’s in the perfect spot for students to come check out.

Anderson Craft Ales is a family-owned and independent craft brewery located in Old East Village at 1030 Elias St. The brewery was founded by Gavin Anderson and his father Jim in 2016. As a gift for Christmas in 2005, the senior Anderson gave Gavin a homebrewing kit, which kick-started his love for brewing and craft beers. Since then, Anderson has been brewing beer.

When Anderson says 100 per cent independent, they mean it. Everything is done in house at the brewery, from the initial brewing process to the final canning. Anderson’s focus has always been on quality small batch beers, without any compromise.

“When we do something like the German pilsner for example, we use German hops, German malt, we even take the step to mimic the water profile of where a typical German pilsner would be made,” Keegan Padyk, the logistics and distribution manager for Anderson explained. “That full top to bottom, authentic, true to style taste…is probably what we pride ourselves on the most.”

The branding of each beer is also an important point for Anderson, with each can having a clean and minimalist presentation. Each can of beer says exactly what it is on the label; if you want a lager, you buy the one that says lager on the can.

“We’ve always wanted it to be approachable for anyone,” Bridget Atkinson Fee, the events and taproom manager at Anderson explained. “Somebody who usually drinks something like Coors Light can come in here and get something similar without any confusion.”

On top of their commitment to quality beer, Anderson Craft Ales also prides itself on community involvement. Every Thursday, a dollar from every beer purchased in the taproom goes to a charity that switches month by month. During the pandemic, food and clothing drives were hosted at the brewery.

Not content to rest on brewing great beer and heavy community involvement, Anderson also hosts many events every month. They do trivia nights on Thursdays one to two times a month, with comedy nights on the other Thursdays. Local London musicians play on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., no cover needed.

And it’s not just the usual bar events like trivia or live music either.

“Sunday at 10 a.m., we do beer and yoga. Essentially, you can have your beer while you’re stretching, or before or after, whatever you want,” Atkinson Fee explained. “It’s a ticketed event, $25 gets you a yoga class and a beer.”

There’s a multitude of other events, like Babies and Brews, allowing parents to come and mingle for lunch while their kids have a place to play, or movie nights with a large projector on the side of the building. Anderson’s biggest event, however, is the anniversary party on the second or third weekend in Aug.

“It’s kind of like a community appreciation party, live music the whole day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The brewers will make a bunch of different one-off beers, like a birthday cake beer with a bunch of edible glitter in it,” Atkinson said.

Padyk added, “Early bird tickets are $15, then day of tickets

are $20. With that, you get three drink tickets, a glass, and at the last party, the first 400 people got a swag bag with free stuff.”

As to why you should check out Anderson as a student, Atkinson Fee said that there’s more to London than just Richmond Row.

“I feel like a lot of students just don’t know about this area. Coming here you get exposure to the community, exposure to the market, we have a record shop across the street, a climbing centre right beside us. There’s so much to do in just four or five blocks.”